Monday, February 17, 2014

Book Review: Once in a Lifetime

Once in a Lifetime (Lucky Harbor #9)
Once in a Lifetime by Jill Shalvis
Lucky Harbor #9
February 18, 2014
Grand Central Publishing
352 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
(contains: strong language, sex)
Source: eARC from publisher for Honest review
Book Blurb:

After a wrenching loss, Ben McDaniels tried to escape his grief by working in dangerous, war-torn places like Africa and the Middle East. Now he’s back in his hometown and face-to-face with Aubrey Wellington, the hot-as-hell woman who is trouble with a capital T. Family and friends insist she’s not the one to ease his pain, but Aubrey sparks an intense desire that gives Ben hope for the future.
Determined to right the wrongs of her past, Aubrey is working hard to make amends. But by far, the toughest challenge to her plan is sexy, brooding Ben …even though he has absolutely no idea what she’s done…
Can this unlikely couple defy the odds and win over the little town of Lucky Harbor?
My Review:

This is my first Lucky Harbor book and I truly enjoyed it. I was completely engaged with the main characters. I was also intrigued by some of the other couples to pick up their stories later, but didn't feel like my lack of knowledge of their previous stories detracted from the read. So I can honestly say that this can be read as a stand-alone.
This is Aubrey and Ben's story, and it is both sweet and heart-breaking. I was moved by this story far more than I expected. Both these characters really touched my heart, and their actions really spoke loudly of who they are. Aubrey's story was particularly touching. I felt so sad for her because, though she did make mistakes in her life, the people around her were so self-righteous and judgmental, and it really drove me crazy. But despite the judgment of others, Aubrey is strong and resilient, even when her hurts are buried deep on the inside. I also liked Ben, with his quiet, gentle side one minute, and his protective side the next. He's dealt with the loss of his wife, but in the process has sheltered his love. But his heart is so caring, and as much as I liked him with Aubrey, let's just say the scenes with the twins were extra sweet.

Watching Aubrey and Ben's story unfold was heartfelt and well developed. The combination of attraction, witty banter, tenderness, suspense, and love was thoroughly engaging and enjoyable. I loved the honesty with how things developed and how the consequences unfolded. This was a great read with great characters. And while this was my first Lucky Harbor book, it won't be my last.
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